By Ross Lafferty


With the no league games remaining to play at Dunterlie, this was the first of two remaining away trips that Arthurlie have to negotiate to see out the season with their brilliant unbeaten record intact.

And ahead of the tie, Lesmahagow applauded the visitors on to the park at Craighead with a guard of honour in congratulations for winning the Conference A title.

While the hosts might have been showing courtesy and respect to the champions as they entered on to the pitch, those feelings weren’t being returned once the whistle went as the ‘Lie took the lead after only 3 minutes!

A high cross from the right by Nad Zeb was headed back across goal by Mick MacNeil for Dale Simeon to continue his incredible goalscoring streak with a finish from close range.

The home side had a couple of half chances in the opening stages but generally it was the away team doing the pressing with MacNeil and Simeon both missing further chances in the first 20 minutes.

Conor Bradley had a shot parried wide by the keeper for a corner as well while Simeon was put through on goal in the 35th minute only for the referee to pull play back for a foul on Gary Carroll!

Arthurlie deservedly doubled the lead a minute after, however, and again Zeb was involved, his shot ricocheting in the six-yard box to Gary Carroll, who turned the ball home.

The visitors carried on their dominance in the second half, but on 64 minutes their lead was cut when Lesmahagow claimed a goal goal against the run of play, MacNeil turning a low cross into his own net.

The goal seemed to annoy ‘Lie a little, and they very nearly restored their two goal lead just a few minutes later when Simeon headed narrowly over from a Roulston cross.

But despite this response, Lesmahagow were more dangerous than they had been at any other time of the match and it took a great goal-line clearance from Jordan Leyden on 71 minutes to keep Arthurlie in the lead.

The game was getting scrappy as we approached the closing stages and the home side seemed to sense an opportunity as they started to put the visiting defence under pressure.

Garry Black made a good save from a free kick with 8 minutes remaining, and was then booked for time-wasting a short while later as Arthurlie looked to protect their lead.

But despite the final minutes being spent largely in the Arthurlie half, ‘Gow failed to create the opportunity they needed and Andy McFadyen’s side held on for their 27th win of the season.

Arthurlie team: Black, Dunsmore (Chalmers 54), Bradley, Leyden, MacNeil, Ramsay, Zeb, Roulston, Simeon (MacLeod 87), Healy (Amponsah 64), Carroll (c)

Subs not used: Gebbie, Nolan, McLaughlin, Scott (GK)